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Brodeur returns to practice

Possible for Saturday's game in Carolina

Thursday, 02.17.2011 / 3:56 PM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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Brodeur returns to practice
Brodeur won't rush progress on his knee sprain.
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Martin Brodeur was back at practice Thursday, but will not play Friday when the Devils host the Rangers.

Brodeur, who has missed four games with a knee sprain, didn’t rule out Saturday’s contest in Carolina. He’s happy with the progress he’s made, though he plans on taking a cautious approach.

“I think when you’re working on injury, especially for a goalie with the knees and stuff, groins and all that stuff, you almost have to be a little selfish because you have to make sure that you can’t re-injure yourself,” Brodeur said. “That’s my only concern: go in too early and hurt myself again. Next thing you know, the step back’s even longer.”

He reported no concerns about his mobility.

“I’ve been skating for a few days, so I know that shouldn’t be an issue,” he said. "It’s the reflex and reaction that I was looking for more, and me being able to get there and do things. It was good. I didn’t do much in practice, it was mostly afterwards.”

Brodeur is 8-1-1 in his last 10 starts. He was hurt in the first period of the Devils’ 4-1 win in Montreal on Feb. 6.

In his absence, the Devils (23-30-4) have continued their surge. They won their fifth in a row by beating Carolina 3-2 on Wednesday.

Johan Hedberg made 25 saves to pick up his 10th victory as New Jersey improved to 13-1-2 in the second half.

“It’s been great, just to see the guys’ faces, guys’ attitudes,” Brodeur said. “I think it’s been a lot of fun, and I think regardless of what happens from now on, we’ve got our game back and we’ve got the fun in the game back. That’s what we were looking for when we were struggling to try and get to that atmosphere. We’ve done it and we’ll try to build on this and keep it going because this is something that’s a great opportunity for us to do something pretty cool.”

The Devils trail the eighth-place Hurricanes by 12 points with 25 games remaining. A playoff spot would be a dream finish to a regular season in which they were once 19 games under .500.

“It will be if we’re able to get it done,” Brodeur said. “Now it’s just part of what we do. It’s part of what I think Jacques [Lemaire] has been building for the last couple of months. We can’t get overexcited about this. The Islanders are one point behind, Ottawa’s [five] points behind. We’re still 12 points out. It’s not a dream situation, but I think it’s fun to be part of something like a roll. We’ve rolled the other side, and trust me, it’s not fun.”

Carolina hosts the Flyers on Friday. By the time the Devils reach Raleigh, they could have a shot at dropping the deficit to eight points. Fortunately, Hedberg has been playing so well that Brodeur won’t need to rush himself back.

“We need to win games and he’s playing well now,” said Brodeur. “For me it’s a matter of getting myself ready, and when I’m called upon, go and try to do the job.”

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
2 x - NYR 75 47 21 7 228 177 101
3 x - TBL 77 47 23 7 249 201 101
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
6 DET 75 40 23 12 220 206 92
7 WSH 76 41 25 10 223 188 92
8 BOS 76 38 25 13 201 196 89
9 OTT 75 37 26 12 218 203 86
10 FLA 76 35 26 15 190 207 85
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 76 31 33 12 168 194 74
14 CAR 75 28 36 11 174 204 67
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 69 16 24 -3 40
M. Cammalleri 62 25 13 3 38
P. Elias 63 11 21 -16 32
S. Gomez 52 7 24 -7 31
S. Bernier 61 13 14 3 27
T. Zajac 68 11 12 -4 23
A. Larsson 58 3 19 3 22
A. Greene 76 3 18 3 21
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
E. Gelinas 56 6 11 -3 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 26 28 8 .928 2.19
K. Kinkaid 5 5 3 .918 2.47